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Chelsea City Council adopts resolutions to move Rockwell project forward

The new Chelsea City Council from left to right. Charles Wiseley, Jane Pacheco, Rick Catherman, Mayor Melissa Johnson, Peter Feeney and Cheri Albertson. Absent was Tony Iannelli.
Chelsea Clerk Laura Kaiser and newly elected Council Member Charles Wiseley after he took the oath of office.

Newly elected Council Member Charles Wiseley was sworn-in before the start of the Nov. 18 Chelsea City Council meeting and then the elected officials took on a 15-item business agenda.

Because of his involvement with McKinley Properties and the proposed Rockwell Building redevelopment project, Wiseley then had to recuse himself from the first three items on the agenda, all of which had to do with the proposed $8 million housing project.

Following two public hearings, the City Council (Council Member Tony Iannelli absent) adopted two of the three requests and took no action on the third by a 5-0 vote.

The first request was to adopt a resolution of support for JP Commercial Real Estate’s Brownfield Plan for the Rockwell Building at 301 N. East St., which includes 36 “market rate” apartments and the restoration of the building “to preserve and restore its historic character.”

(For the complete Brownfield Plan see the PDF at the bottom of the story.)

The developers plan to clean up contamination on the site, which was used for industrial uses in the past. Built in 1909, the site was used for the manufacturing of stove and automobile parts and has been vacant for the last three decades.

The redevelopment plan includes 36 apartments (studio, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom) ranging from 700 to 1,300 square feet.

The developer plans to use Tax Increment Financing to clean-up the contamination on the site. Eligible activities in the plan total about $659,600.

“The Brownfield Plan will capture new taxes paid (the increment) due to increased taxable value, to reimburse the developer for eligible Brownfield activities,” according to the agenda item. “Existing taxes paid on the current taxable value will continue to be paid to the taxing jurisdictions, so no loss of current tax value paid on the property will occur.”

In its second business item, the City Council adopted a resolution to approve a commercial residential exemption certificate for 10 years for the project. It includes a provision that the rehabilitation of the building be completed by Aug. 1, 2022.

The third item was a request to waive all “internal and external fees” for the Rockwell Building, which total about $67,000 for internal fees and about $74,200 for external fees. The City Council voted to take no action since fee waivers for a private development are not “a qualified use of public purpose spending,” according to staff recommendations. The elected officials also specified that this was not to be interpreted as a lack of support for the project.

(Publisher’s note: this is the first of two stories about this meeting.)

RResolution to Approve Brownfield Plan on Parcel 06-06-12-111-007_


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